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The most beautiful Greek islands

Last update : 23 May 2024
Are you planning your next trip to the Greek islands and need help choosing which islands to visit first? In this article, we present our selection of the most beautiful Greek islands, from the best-known to the most hidden.

Head for the Cyclades, the Ionian Islands or Crete for an unforgettable vacation. One thing’s for sure: whatever you choose, you’re sure to come back to the Greek islands. There’s so much to discover! For our first trip, we chose to go to the Cyclades out of season to discover the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. We loved this trip so much, we soon decided to visit the lesser-known islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia.

So, where to go in Greece and more specifically in the Greek islands? The hardest part will be choosing! Here’s to adventure. 🥳

The Greek islands of the Ionian Sea

Zante or Zakynthos

We start this selection of the most beautiful Greek islands with one of our favorites and still rather unknown, the island of Zakynthos or Zante. This island is part of the Ionian Islands and you’ve probably already seen it in photos without even realizing it! The famous beach of Navagio and its beached boat is one of the Greek spots most shared on social networks. For us, this is one of the most beautiful islands still untouched by mass tourism. The color of the water is just incredible, and you’ll love swimming with the turtles in the intense blue lagoons;

The best time to visit Zante is from May to October, with temperatures averaging 30 degrees. If you have a choice, we definitely recommend June.

Greek Islands Zakynthos

Cephalonia or Kefalonia

We continue our passage through the Ionian Islands with the discovery of this little gem located just off Zakynthos. It’s a top island if you want to take a vacation in Greece, away from mass tourism and without blowing your budget. Kefalonia’s beaches are truly postcard-perfect. If you had to do just one, we highly recommend Myrtos beach. Don’t forget to visit Assos, one of Kefalonia’s most beautiful villages. If you’re a keen hiker, head for Mount Ainos.

The best time to visit Kefalonia is from April to October. The rainy season is between November and March, a period we recommend you avoid. Allow at least 4 days to enjoy the island, and you can even combine this trip with a visit to Zakynthos. The two islands are linked daily by ferry;

Greek islands Cephalonia

Corfou or Kerkyra

It’s impossible to talk about the Ionian islands without mentioning the biggest of them all, Corfu! The island is world-famous for the beauty of its beaches and landscapes. It’s an island bathed in sunshine all year round, so we advise you to make the most of it, while trying to avoid the summer crowds as much as possible. While you’re on this magnificent Greek island, you won’t want to miss Corfu, one of the few fortified towns to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Lefkada, located in Greece’s Ionian Islands, is an ideal destination for lovers of beautiful beaches, picturesque villages and verdant mountains. Lefkada is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches on its west coast. The turquoise waters and shades of blue of the sea are breathtaking, and if it’s your first time in the Greek islands, you won’t be disappointed! As you can see, Lefkada is an island of lush natural beauty, brimming with hidden treasures.

Leucade, which means “white”, is a name given to the island in reference to the chalk cliffs you’ll find in the south of the island. The island is easily accessible by car from the Greek mainland, thanks to a bridge that links the two. It’s a 5-hour drive from Athens. You can also take a ferry to reach the island more quickly.

Îles Grecques Leucade

Paxos or Paxi

Paxos is a small Greek island in the Ionian Sea, known for its beautiful white pebble beaches and crystal-clear waters. Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the island’s many trails, which offer breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding Greek islands. Swimmers can relax on the beaches of Gaios, one of the island’s main towns. If, like us, you’re a sunset enthusiast, head for Erimitis beach. You’ll have a breathtaking view of the sunset! As you can see, there’s something for everyone on Paxos. With its breathtaking scenery and rich culture, Paxos is the ideal place to relax and discover Greece.


Greek islands in the Aegean


Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and undoubtedly one of the best known. It’s even the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. Crete is nicknamed the Island of the Gods because, according to mythology, it was here that Zeus was born! You’ve probably already heard someone you know extolling the virtues of Crete, because the island has so much to offer. From heavenly beaches and lagoons to fishing villages, gorges and hiking trails, you’re bound to find something to suit you.

Don’t miss the Samaria Gorge, an incredible site classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. In short, a trip to Crete is guaranteed to fill your eyes with memories! The best time to visit Crete is from April to September/October.

Greek Islands Crete


Often wrongly summed up by its festive and very touristy side, we found an enormous amount of charm on the island of Mykonos. To tell you the truth, we really fell in love with this Greek island. Discovering it out of season undoubtedly allowed us to discover a Mykonos that was more authentic than its image as a party destination. On our Cyclades road trip, we decided to discover Mykonos and Santorini on the same trip. Allow two hours for the ferry crossing between these two Greek islands.

In our opinion, the best time to visit Mykonos is out of season, from May to June or September to mid-October. After this date, many restaurants and shops will be closed, which can be a shame.

Greek Islands Mykonos mykonos


It’s hard to talk about the Cyclades without mentioning Santorini, one of Greece’s most famous islands! This is where we were able to admire the most beautiful sunsets of our lives every evening. We loved discovering authentic villages like Oia and Fira on the edge of the Caldera. Our only recommendation for discovering this island without suffering too much from mass tourism: travel out of season and get up early! Indeed, tourists from all over the world crowd into the narrow streets of Santorini’s villages.

Personally, we decided to get up every day at 7:00 a.m. so that we could enjoy the villages before the cruisers arrive at 10:00 a.m. If you want to make the most of Santorini and its famous blue domes, we recommend you read our complete guide.

Greek Islands Santorini Santorini


Evia is Greece’s second largest island. It is a lesser-known destination but just as charming as its famous neighbor, Crete. Located northeast of Athens, this verdant, mountainous island is ideal for nature lovers who want to get away from the busiest tourist areas. Unlike the Cyclades islands, Evia has no picturesque villages, but offers an authentic atmosphere and typical places.

The lush vegetation, particularly in the north of the island, contrasts with the more arid landscapes of other parts of Greece. In the south, the region is more mountainous and offers spectacular hiking, particularly from the villages of Mount Ochi. Karystos, a peaceful seaside resort, is renowned for its unspoilt beaches. The island is easily accessible from the mainland via the Halkida bridge. Or by ferry from the port of Rafina in Athens or Agia Marina in Crete.

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Milos isn’t the best-known island in the Cyclades, but you’ve probably heard of it! This island is known for its crystal-clear waters, magnificent sunsets and its calm compared to the other Cycladic islands. Milos is still wild in places. It’s a pleasure to wander around its small fishing ports. The island is less crowded, which has the advantage of costing much less than the other Cycladic islands! A good choice if you’re on a budget and want to spend a quiet vacation. A must: the little village of Mandrakia!

We recommend that you take the ferry to Milos, which takes 2.5 hours from Santorini, for example. When to go to Milos The weather is ideal from May to October.

Greek Islands Milos


Rhodes, is the largest island in the Dodecanese, an archipelago of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea east of the Cyclades. It is therefore the most touristic island of this archipelago, so we recommend you avoid visiting it in the middle of summer as much as possible. The island is world-famous for its Colossus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, and for its crystal-clear beaches. For lovers of history and archaeology, don’t miss the old town of Rhodes either. Indeed, Rhodes is the oldest medieval city in Europe to have been inhabited since its creation.



Naxos is a Greek island in the Cyclades, brimming with natural and cultural wonders. It’s the largest and highest island in the Cyclades! Imagine strolling along the palm-fringed white-sand beaches, swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea… The definition of happiness! You can also explore the incredible archaeological sites. Like the ancient temple of Apollo, or visit the traditional villages and admire the charming whitewashed houses.

Hiking enthusiasts will also be delighted! The mountain trails offer breathtaking views of the island and the sea. All in all, Naxos is an ideal destination for those looking to combine relaxation, cultural discovery and outdoor activities. There’s no doubt that you’ll fall in love with this magnificent island. You’re sure to fall in love with Chora Naxos, the island’s main town.


Skiathos and the Sporades archipelago

The Sporades archipelago is made up of hundreds of small islands, four of which are inhabited. If you’re looking for a heavenly destination for your vacation in Greece, the Sporades are a great option. From charming villages to enchanting natural sites, these islands have something for everyone.

Skiathos, the largest island in the Sporades, is a favorite with hikers and lovers of relaxation and water sports. Alonissos, meanwhile, is an unspoilt island with a strong emphasis on green tourism. Skopelos is where the film Mamma Mia was shot. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Last but not least, Skyros is a less touristy island with many surprises in store. Although more difficult to reach than other Greek islands, the Sporades are well worth the effort.

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Greek islands, our tips for making your choice

We know how complicated it can be to choose which Greek island to visit on a trip to Greece! So we hope this selection will help you! To sum up, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, we recommend heading for the Ionian islands like Zakynthos or Kefalonia. If you want to visit the more famous islands like Santorini or Mykonos, don’t hesitate to travel out of season. This will allow you to enjoy them to the full. You can also discover a quieter island if you want to do a road trip in the Cyclades like Milos for example.


Visiting the Greek islands, how to organize your trip well?

How to get to the Greek islands?

To find the best mode of transport to your destination, we advise you to always look on the OMIO comparator. You’ll be able to compare prices very easily.

How to rent a car at the best price in the Greek islands

If you’re looking to rent a car during your trip, we recommend looking on the RentalCars website. This will enable you to find the best prices and conditions for your rental.

How to find the best hotels to visit the Greek islands?

In order to find the best hotels and benefit from the best conditions (security, cancellation…) we go almost exclusively through for our trips. We recommend that you take a look at the available hotels before you leave. You can filter them according to their ratings. There are plenty of recent customer reviews, so there are no unpleasant surprises when you’re traveling!

How to find ideas for activities to do on your holiday

If you want to get ideas for activities to do on your vacation and want to book in advance, we’d also recommend taking a look at the GetYourGuide site. This will give you an overview of the activities on offer in your destination, so you don’t have to wait until you get there to book your places.

Where to go in Greece
Thank you for reading

We hope this article will help you plan your next trip to the Greek islands!

You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂

Clem & Alex

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